I didn’t think I would find myself perched at the laptop, still writing about the situation the world finds itself in. My last post was a mere week into our lockdown in Kuwait and here we still are, day 70 and counting. I guess I am here because this situation is a unique one, one that I will want to remember and forget all in one go, but also one I want to document. There have been so many questions asked, so many unanswered, so many emotions felt. I can’t be the only one that has been on the verge of breaking down one day, rolling around in fits of giggles the next. Schizophrenic mood swings, transforming me into a positivity guru on Monday and by Wednesday she’s replaced by Oscar winning drama queen! None of this is me, none of this is normal, but I ask you, in a global pandemic what is?
Continue reading “Lock-down, taking stock & a barrel of laughs” →
It’s been a while but here goes nothing. Firstly how is it 2020?! A decade of my expat journey done and dusted. I can’t believe at the start of 2010 I was happily sitting in Jersey, starting a new job and had no idea that by the end of that year, I would be sat in Prague beginning a new life abroad. Ten years of this life and it’s gone in a blink of eye. As I marked this milestone, I asked myself am I a better expat now than I was then? I can’t definitive say either way, somethings are way easier now, but the longer you’re away the worse somethings get and I confess, at times, to be blighted by the 7 deadly expat sins. Continue reading “The sin bin” →
When you are far from home, connection is so important. Connection with your new location, with new friends, to the new culture, just to name a few. For me, there are two other vital connections which I have always tried to maintain, connection to where I am from, as this gives you some kind of identity in the sea of expats and their stories. Two, connections with the people back home, ensuring that those thousands of miles between you, are not a catalyst for distance becoming more than mileage. As I was sitting down with one of my weekly chats with home, I realised how lucky I was to be an expat in this moment in time, technology has changed the face of the earth, for good and bad, but for a me, sat in a random corner of the Gulf, its a god send. I ask, can FaceTime really be a substitute for face to face time? Continue reading “Face off” →
After a long weekend in Dubai, I’m fully recharged and my spirits lifted. There is nothing like a change of scenery to put things in perspective and after a week of being full of a desert cold, feeling very sorry for myself, the stark contrast of a weekend in Dubai helped a lot. Whilst I was more than happy to come back to the sandpit and normality, I find myself not as settled as usual. For the first time in a long time, I feel that I am on December escape countdown. Am I getting sentimental in my old age or are even the most seasoned Kuwait expats missing the seasons? Continue reading “Under seasoned & over done” →
There are many life scenarios where that element of self doubt creeps in and we smile and nod our way through that awkward dinner party conversation, which you have absolutely no clue about. We have all embellished a CV or done a little bit of self PR in an interview but these are socially acceptable moments to sprinkle a little of that BS glitter. My question is when does that fake it till you make it attitude become detrimental to your expat experience? Do we really know who are the oscar winning actresses are in a sea of bad ass, we totally got this women? Continue reading “Fake it ‘till you make it” →
Most days living abroad are just like every other life, days turn to weeks, which turn into months and nothing extraordinary happens. If you are lucky, you even forget where you are, it becomes so normalised and routine, that you barely even notice that you are in this random corner of the world. The environment melts away and you’re simply going about your business, no longer aware of the cultural or climatic differences. Last week I was fully in the swing of my usual antics, which led into a wonderful social weekend, when it dawned on me, I could have been sat anywhere in the world. Kuwait had faded into the background. When did somewhere in the world become anywhere in the world? Continue reading “Here but anywhere” →
Most people I know work in a 12 month cycle, the year begins January 1st and ends on preferably a drunken night on December 31st. I used to be one of those people, living the standard calendar and making those new year resolutions to be broken my mid Feb. Expat me, works in a completely different way. My annual flags seems to have moved and fall into 3 distinct phases. Pre Ramadan, summer break and the new year. In this case the “new year” in my expat circle is September, this has now become the clean slate, the bench mark for all the great intentions for the 12 months ahead and the re setting of routines. When did my end of the year become the start, the middle become the end and the start become the middle? Welcome to my expat life! Continue reading “Calendar girls” →
Are there people in your life that you rely on no matter what? People that seem to be the backbone to their family, never faltering in the midst of drama or chaos? I know many and most are women. There is a kind of man that is drawn to this expat lark, but there is also a kind of women that can handle it. I often question whether the outside world still perceive us as the “trailing spouse” with no real direction or minds of our own. Gin swilling, ladies that lunch, who are living it up around global locations, simply fulfilling their husbands career dreams and not their own. Is this accurate or yet another statement filled with judgement and misunderstanding? Continue reading “Call me Michelle” →
Now please don’t fall off your seats at my appearance in blog land. You know what they say, if you have nothing good to say, say nothing at all, so I guess I kept my mouth shut! The wheels of expat life keep turning and before you know it months have passed and I cant believe the summer exodus is nearly upon us.
So in light of my somewhat triumphant return, I know you are dying to hear what profound insight I have for you in this post. Well it dawned on me that whilst the expat wheels do keep turning, the routine of life magically makes the days, weeks and months pass unnoticed. But things do change. Little changes, that almost sneak past you. Where you stop, smile to yourself and say “when did that happen?” Continue reading “When did that happen?” →
There comes a point in January, when the post Christmas catch ups are had, that latest trip home seems like a million years ago and the typical desert expat starts wishing the year away. I don’t mean it’s unbearable, a slog or there is pure desperation to get out, but there is a definite moment when the planning heads go on and we start to have markers in the calendar. We haven’t even finished January and I bet that most have up to September all planned out! So as Hubs and I are joining this bandwagon and trying to pin down our plans, I ask myself it this really necessary or just a desert thing? Continue reading “The annual agonising” →